Alfred Taylor Jr.

Obituary of Alfred Hendricks Taylor Jr.

Alfred Hendricks Taylor, Jr., 93, of State College, passed away on January 16, 2024, at The Village at Penn State.

Born May 16, 1930, in Evanston, IL, "Ted" was the son of the late Alfred Hendricks and Joy Scheidenhelm Taylor. His wife of nearly 70 years, Elizabeth Turner Taylor ("Betsy"), predeceased him on June 5, 2023.

Four children survive him: John H. Taylor and his wife, Laurie, of Durham, NC; Libby Taylor of Boalsburg, PA; Jeff Taylor and his wife, Lolly, of Cincinnati, OH; and Annie Taylor and her husband, Marty Gutowski, of State College, PA; as well as ten grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

Ted graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois in 1948. He then attended Williams College in Williamstown, MA, where he was a member of the Chi Psi fraternity and captain of the Williams College golf team. He graduated in 1952 with a bachelor's degree in history. Upon graduation, he attended the Navy Officer's Training School and served the US Navy on the USS Firedrake during the Korean War. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant (O3).

Ted and Betsy married on September 29, 1953, at the Glencoe Union Church in Illinois. After Ted's active-duty tour with the Navy, he began his career with the Harris Trust and Savings Bank, starting in the mailroom as part of the management training program and moving up the corporate ladder to Group Vice President. In 1969, Ted joined the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) during the Nixon Administration, reporting to childhood friend Donald Rumsfeld. At the end of the Nixon administration, Ted returned to work within the banking environment but soon found his ultimate calling at the Kresge Foundation in Troy, Michigan, earning the title of President and CEO and then Chairman of the Board. He helped lead the Foundation to become one of the ten largest in the country. In 1993, NSFRE (now AFP) recognized Ted with its Chairs Award for outstanding leadership in philanthropy – one of only five such awards granted in the then thirty-three-year history of the organization.

Ted and Betsy, however, were best known for their relentless years of volunteerism. All of Ted's service positions are too many to be listed. Still, they did include leading church youth groups, serving on many church administrative boards, organizing local baseball leagues, participating in local theater groups, serving on board of trustee leadership positions with local outreach groups to the disenfranchised, as well as serving on college boards, corporation boards, and finally contributing to the finance committee of their beloved home at The Village at Penn State. Ted embodied the principle he often quoted, "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." Ted and Betsy's children learned early on that there could always be one more chair at the table, one more bed that could be offered, and one more helping hand.

Ted was a giver! He was one of the most thoughtful and compassionate humans on this planet and had room in his heart for everyone. His legacy is his children, who have given their father the title of "hero."

Memorial contributions may be made to the Centre County Historical Society (

 Online condolences may be entered at

Share Your Memory of